The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to drive demand for tens of billions of devices by 2020 and these IoT end nodes or “Smart Things” will integrate multiple functions, including sensors, microcontrollers and RF interfaces, each presenting unique test challenges which are continuously evolving. Peter Cockburn, Senior Product Manager Test Cell Innovation at Xcerra, highlighted in his presentation at the nmi R&D Workshop the technology trends for these Smart Things and described two case studies where test solutions have been developed for two examples of IoT “Smart Things”: RF SOCs and MEMS sensors, where flexibility and low cost of test are key requirements.
High bandwidth, low inductance signal paths are essential for testing next generation RF devices. A successful test strategy must start with consideration of contact technology used to interface the device lead. Spring probes are the technology of choice for most applications when considerations also include mechanical reliability. The ZIP flat probe technology from Everett Charles Technologies will provide the case study for the article.
This article will begin by exploring present and future RF device requirements’ linking several RF device applications with their critical high speed electrical test requirements.
The vast array of semiconductor applications translates into an equally diverse set of challenges for test engineers. However, there are two constant drivers that permeate the industry: smaller pitches and higher signal integrity. High bandwidth signal paths and low- inductance power delivery are essential for testing the next-generation of RF devices.
Several factors can impact signal integrity, such as contactor and performance board design, and material selection. However, a successful test strategy must start with consideration of contact technology used to interface the device lead. Spring probes are the technology of choice for most applications when considerations a lso include mechanical attributes such as reliability and wear, as in high-volume test applications. An effective spring probe design must address the balancing act between electrical and mechanical performance. Developing a spring probe capable of 40Ghz+ bandwidth (@ -1dB) while providing adequate spring force and compliance, not only involves extensive electrical and mechanical simulation, but also advanced manufacturing techniques.
We are always looking for novel ways that our systems have been used to make better, more accurate or faster measurements. Peter Sarson at ams in Austria is rapidly becoming one of our most-published customers. In a previous blog entry here we highlighted his previous paper on RF measurement improvements in ACR (adjacent-channel rejection) testing in VHF receivers. He also has an article here on testing high voltage digital outputs without requiring special pins on the ATE system.
ast year one of our customers, Peter Sarson from AMS, published an article in Test and Measurement World (here, and also here at EE Times). It talks about making RF measurements on VHF receivers on ATE using techniques that correlate adjacent channel rejection (ACR) to signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the tester, and to bit error rate (BER) on the bench setup.
Our next installment of our RF engineering e-book is ready!
- The reasons for using modulation
- Fundamental modulation forms
- Simple amplitude modulation
- Synchronous demodulation
- DSBSC Amplitude Modulation
- SSB Amplitude Modulation
- SSBSC Amplitude Modulation
- True SSB Amplitude Modulation
- VSB Amplitude Modulation
- Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
- Angular Modulation
- Phase Modulation
- Frequency Modulation
- Phase-Shift-Keying and Frequency-Shift-Keying
Overview about all chapters: